Today is our 100 day Trailaversity – been on the AT for 100 days.
Before we went to sleep last night Maria showed us where she keeps the coffee, orange juice, bread and eggs, and told us to make ourselves breakfast before we leave (she only gets up at 9!). When we got up this morning the table was set and I scrambled us some eggs. Just as we were about to leave Barbara came out and send us on out way with a few snacks. It was a lovely, homely stay:
I should start taking pictures of all the beautiful mushrooms I see. Today i saw this (what i assume to be) fungus – probably the size of 8 adult hands.
Because of going into Great Barrington tomorrow morning we have to stay at the campsite closest to town tonight, which gave us a target of only 21km for the day. But….it included 4 named mountains (or big hills).
Firstly we went up and down Lions Head, which was really a piece of cake. After that we did Bear Mountain (seems as if every state has a Bear Mountain) which was tougher and busier with day hikers. We then walked next to a stream in a beautiful ravine – it had a Sunday peacefulness to it and there werent any other hikers around, we had our lunch there and it was special to have the place to ourselves. This was also the end of Connecticut, when we crossed the stream we were in Massachusetts.
The next challenge was Race Mountain. Firstly we ascended gradually over a few kilometers, it was a bit boring. But the last kilometer was on ledges above the tree line and I really enjoyed that part of the climb , in spite of the sun being aggressively hot.
The climb down Race Mountain was a bit steep but we only had 21km to do for the day so with time on our side we came down without any rush which took the sting out of the descend.
Everette Mountain came at the end of our day, and was the steepest (15% slope). It was big boulders you had to walk up, with texture rough enough to just put your foot down and propel yourself upwards, and so much more fun than walking up a rock strewn path. If my energy level was as bad as on Thursday I might have complained, but I really enjoyed this and was almost disappointed when we got to the top.
Today we had enough water, but just before we got to our overnight spot a trail angel left a huge container (25 gallon) with a block of ice and water, so we had ICE COLD water which tasted so much better than warm water.
I dont know why the camping spot we are at is so quiet, its a beautiful spot under pine trees with a carpet of pine needles (wonderful terrain to tent on) but there are just 2 other hikers here. I suppose it is still early, the kids chill over the hot part of the day and then walk till sunset, maybe more will arrive soon. Not that I am complaining, nice to have all this to ourselves and Bamboo (his wife picked his trail name as he is tall, thin and always wants to grow) and Cameraman (from Denmark). It is a strange (but relaxing) feeling to arrive at camp so early.
Ah I almost forgot to tell you this. At the top of Race Mountain there were 4 young adults with a group of teenagers (an adventure camp group), as we walked by the one young woman said “Howzit”. I did a double take and asked her what she said, she repeated “Howzit”. Trevor asked her if she is from South Africa but no, she is from Hawai. She says they also use Howzit as a greeting. But they dont know about LEKKER 😀